How To Shutdown Windows Server 2012

Methods for Windows Server 2012 Shutdown or RebootHow to Shutdown Windows Server 2012

Since Microsoft removed the Start button, there is no quick way to shut down or reboot the server.  Even the logon screen has no Shut down button.

Good news, here are three easy ways to down your Server 2012.

Windows Server 2012 Shutdown Methods


Use the Charms to Shutdown Windows Server 2012Windows Server 2012 Shutdown Settings

My favourite way of calling for the Windows charms is with WinKey +c. The main alternative to the keyboard shortcut is the mouse. There is a knack of pointing the mouse gently over the bottom right corner. There is no need to press any of the mouse’s buttons, just let the pointer activate the charms.

Using the mouse to make the charms emerge is a tricky skill.  If at first you don’t succeed, try again but more slowly, circle the cursor nearer the corner of the screen.

Settings ‘Cogs’How to Shutdown Windows Server 2012
Once the Server 2012 charms materialize on the right side of the screen, then click on the cogs called ‘Settings’. Now you seek the Power button, which is at the bottom of the screen.

Left click on ‘Power’ and select Shut Down (or Restart).

Try WinKey +i
An even quicker way to access these settings is to press the Windows Key +i. 

Windows Server 2012 Shutdown Trap
If you Sign out (the old logoff) there is no shut down button on the front screen as there is with Windows 8.

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Employ PowerShell to Shutdown Windows Server 2012

If you are familiar with PowerShell’s cmdlets then you need a verb called ‘Stop’ (not shutdown), coupled with the noun ‘Computer’.

Launch PowerShell, type stop then tab, you should see Stop-Computer.  If this flashy technique does not work, then just type this one simple command long-hand:

# PowerShell command to shutdown Windows Server 2012


Warning:  Actually, there is no warning!  If you issue the above command then Server 2012 initiates the shutdown procedure ‘ready or not’.  For a more leisurely method of downing the server experiment with the built-in Shutdown command see the next section.

See more about using PowerShell’s Stop-Computer cmdlet.

Employing Microsoft’s Shutdown CommandWindows Server 2012 Shutdown

For as long as I can remember Microsoft’s operating systems have a built-in shutdown utility. However, there is a little known switch to bring-up a GUI version of this command line utility.

# GUI method of using the built-in Shutdown command

Shutdown -i

Note: If you are going to use any of the Shutdown commands, the first switch to learn is -a.  Shutdown -a meaning abort!

Pure Shutdown
I like to operate shutdown from within PowerShell.  To digress you can run almost all the build-in cmd commands at the PowerShell interface.

# Shutdown the local Windows Server 2012 machine

Shutdown -s -m \\localhost

Note: When testing this command you have 60 seconds to abort with Shutdown -a

Note: Use of \\ localhost for the present computer may give you ideas for downing Windows Server 2012 remotely.

How to Reboot Windows Server 2012

As you may have guessed, restarting Server 2012 is conceptually the same as shutting down. If you would like PowerShell to reboot the server then in place of ‘Stop’ use the verb ‘Restart’.

For occasions where you employ the shutdown command, then instead of typing -s, substitute -r.

# How to Reboot Server 2012 with PowerShell

# How to Reboot with the built-in command
Shutdown -r -m \\localhost

How to Create a Shutdown Tile For Server 2012

My plan is to create a Shutdown button in the Windows Server 2012 Metro interface.  This is not an easy task, it helps if you understand the three underpinning concepts, and pay particular attention to detail.How To Create a Windows Metro Shutdown Tile

  1. Avoid over-think, go straight for the command.:
    C:\windows\system32\shutdown -s -t 25
    [My point is don’t mess with wrapping instruction in cmd files]
  2. Find a particular location where you store all the shortcuts to all the tiles:
    C:\ProgramData\Microsoft\Windows\Start Menu\Programs
    Note: Start at ProgramData not ProgramFiles.
  3. Realize that you can Pin (and Unpin) tiles to the Metro UI.

Instructions for Creating a Windows Server Shutdown Tile

  1. Navigate with Windows Explorer to this special folder:
    C:\Users\Administrator\AppData\Roaming\Microsoft\Windows\Start Menu\Programs
    Note: This works for a user called ‘Administrator’, therefore amend your setting as required.
  2. Create a shortcut.  Right-click a blank area, from the menu select: New, Shortcut.  Paste this instruction:
    C:\windows\system32\shutdown -s -t 25
    Note: t means time in seconds.  You need a space between t and 25.
  3. Give the shortcut a meaningful name, I chose Guy’s Shutdown so that I could find it. I like to click on the shortcut’s advanced button and ‘Run as administrator’.
  4. You should see your shortcut amongst the other Apps, especially if you gave it a distinctive name.
  5. Press the Windows Key to return to the Metro UI.
  6. New tiles are always ‘born’ at the right of the Metro screen, so you may need to scroll to find your short’s tile. 
  7. Right-click its icon and check ‘Pinned’  I also like to Pin my Shutdown shortcut to the Task Manager.  See more on how to create a Windows Metro Tile.How To Create a Windows Metro Shutdown Tile

Windows Shutdown Tile Variations: 
Change your shortcut’s icon.  Right-click, Properties, Change Icon.  There is a classic orange square with a vertical line.  See screenshot above.

Tweak the Shutdown command, at least while your testing you may wish to change /t 25 to /t 10.  The benefit is you can go to the command prompt (or PowerPoint) and issue the countermand: Shutdown -a.  This aborts the shutdown.

Challenge: Make a second tile but with the Shutdown -a command.  See screenshot above. 

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Summary of Disable UAC in Windows Server 2012


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